Early last night, Michael Brennan was elected Portland’s first mayor in almost 90 years. Brennan who led the rank choice voting from the start never relinquished his lead to Ethan Strimling or the current mayor Nicholas Mavadones who finished in that order behind Brennan. However, as expected, with such a large field of candidates, no one received a majority of the votes on election day making a run-off necessary.
In round 15 of the “run-off” Brennan captured 8,971 votes, Strimling received 7,128 and Mavodones 4,075. Councilor David Marshall came in fourth with 2,306 votes and Jed Ratband followed Marshall with 1,807. The results, round-by-round, were flashed on a large screen in the State of Maine room, at city hall by TrueBallot, who ran the first ever rank choice voting for Portland.
“That was excruciating! I never want to see a graph like that again,” said Brennan to a room full of laughter. “This election changes the way Portland will govern in the future. I want to congratulate the other 14 people who had the courage to step forward into this race….it does take courage to step out into the public in this way,” he continued. “I feel blessed and humbled by this election.”
Mayor Elect Brennan will be inagurated on December 5 for a four year term. The newly created position comes with a salary of about $66,000.
Councilor David Marshall said following Brennan’s remarks that he was pleased to see many of his votes go to Brennan. “We have similar values,” he said of Brennan. Marhsall said that he had learned a lot from the election. “A city-wide race is different from a District race.”
A total of 20,212 ballots were cast – more than the City anticipated; 42% of registered voters voted rather than the 20 – 25% expected – based on the low absentee voter response. But only 19,634 of them were valid. Others were blank or invalid.